Army to clean high-al­ti­tude tourist spots: Sithara­man

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Region - Ra­jesh Moudgil ra­jesh.moudgil@hin­dus­tan­times.com

KASAULI: The In­dian Army will soon be clean­ing up var­i­ous high-al­ti­tude tourists lo­ca­tions in Jammu and Kash­mir, Hi­machal Pradesh and the North­east­ern states, which face en­vi­ron­men­tal threats as tourists dump their non-biodegrad­able re­fuses in the open.

De­fence min­ster Nir­mala Sithara­man said this dur­ing a pro­gramme in Kasauli, Hi­machal Pradesh, on Satur­day.

She was here to fe­lic­i­tate of­fi­cers and civil­ians of eight can­ton­ments un­der the West­ern Com­mand for their ef­forts in main­tain­ing clean­li­ness.

The min­is­ter also awarded open defe­ca­tion-free (ODF) cer­tifi­cates to of­fi­cials from can­ton­ments in Kasauli, Dagshai, Su­bathu, Ju­togh, Dal­housie, Jalandhar, Am­rit­sar and Ferozepur.

She said, the re­main­ing five can­ton­ments un­der the West­ern Com­mand, namely, Delhi, Am­bala, Bak­loh, Khasyol and Jammu, are also on their way of be­ing de­clared ODF. Fol­low­ing the dec­la­ra­tion of the Swachh Bharat cam­paign on Oc­to­ber 2, 2014, the di­rec­tor gen­eral of de­fence es­tates had di­rected all its six prin­ci­pal di­rec­torates to achieve the goals of the said cam­paign and de­clare each can­ton­ment ODF.

In her speech, the min­is­ter cat­e­gor­i­cally ap­pre­ci­ated the role of chil­dren who worked as “swach­hta doot” (am­bas­sadors of clean­li­ness).

Speak­ing on the wel­fare of the de­fence per­son­nel, Sithara­man said, “We are alive to all of your con­cerns and we will en­sure that all is­sues re­lated to wel­fare of de­fence per­son­nel, and their fam­i­lies, are taken care of. We are a lis­ten­ing gov­ern­ment and re­spond­ing gov­ern­ment with a pos­i­tive ap­proach.”

The pro­gramme was at­tended by di­rec­tor gen­eral of de­fence es­tates, Jo­jneswar Sharma; prin­ci­pal di­rec­tor of de­fence es­tates, SC Kaushaik, and Lt Gen Surinder Singh, gen­eral of­fi­cer com­mand­ing in chief, West­ern Com­mand, among others.

₹15 CRORE FOR PARK­ING LOT IN KASAULI

The de­fence min­is­ter also an­nounced ₹15 crore for the con­struc­tion of a multi-storey park­ing space near Kasauli bus stand.

“I have ac­cepted the de­mand for a multi-storey park­ing fa­cil­ity, ad­ja­cent to the bus stand, and have re­leased ₹15 crore for the project,” Sithara­man said.

RAVI KU­MAR/HT

De­fence min­is­ter Nir­mala Sithara­man be­ing wel­comed dur­ing a pro­gramme in Kasauli on Satur­day.

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